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Camassia quamash


Six-petaled blue-purple flower with yellow anthers; multiple flowers on a tall spike. Linear basal leaves. Onion-like bulb provided a staple food for native Americans along the Columbia River and western Rocky Mountains.


Blooms in moist meadows in spring, which dry out as summer progresses.


Plant first described for science by Lewis and Clark. In June, 1806 Lewis wrote: "the quamash is now in blume and from the colour of its bloom and at a short distance it resembles lakes of fine clear water, so complete is this deseption that on first sight I could have swoarn it was water." In this photo, drifts of camas grow on grassy slopes above the Columbia River, in Catherine Creek Natural Area, Washington.

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Washington, USA

Spotted on Apr 23, 2019
Submitted on Mar 30, 2020

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